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How Proust Can Change Your Life (Vintage International) by [Alain De Botton]
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How Proust Can Change Your Life (Vintage International) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 487 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This is a genius-level piece of writing that manages to blend literary biography with self-help and tongue-in-cheek with the profound. The quirky, early 1900s French author Marcel Proust acts as the vessel for surprisingly impressive nuggets of wisdom on down-to-earth topics such as why you should never sleep with someone on the first date, how to protect yourself against lower back pain, and how to cope with obnoxious neighbors. Here's proof that our ancestors had just as much insight as the gurus du jour and perhaps a lot more wit. De Botton simultaneously pokes fun at the self-help movement and makes a significant contribution to its archives. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

From Library Journal

Here's an antidote for readers paralyzed by the anxiety of influence. Novelist and literary biographer de Botton (Kiss & Tell, Picador, 1996) sets out to exorcise the influence of Marcel Proust, using the words of the great French author of In Search of Lost Time most engagingly for and against him. In the process, de Botton fashions a hilarious work of authorial self-help. Like Julian Barnes in his Flaubert's Parrot, de Botton knows his author intimately, from what newspaper snippets he would have read each morning to what he and James Joyce said to each other the one time they met ("Non."). In pithy sections, spliced with kitschy photos and plenty of white space, he takes on Proust's personal and writerly idiosyncrasies: the length of his sentences; his loving devotion to minutiae; his elevation of the quotidian; his hypochondria. De Botton might not make us better people (he quotes the perennially miserable Proust on love in a Q-and-A format: "how to be happy in love"), but he will make us more careful readers. For all literature collections.?Amy Boaz, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN : B00ATLA8PC
  • Publisher : Vintage (January 23, 2013)
  • Publication date : January 23, 2013
  • Language : English
  • File size : 4570 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 210 pages
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 487 ratings

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
487 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on July 4, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on November 29, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars A guide on how to make lemonades out of lemons, with examples!
By Rodrigo Alves Vieira on November 29, 2019
What a sweet, witty book! The author derives life lessons from Proust's deeds and writings (as well as the characters in In Search of Lost Time) in a captivating way. More interesting yet, even though Proust himself enjoyed a rather lavish lifestyle he often points out the need to enjoy the simple things and contends that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Or as put at some point in his Opus:

- When you walk around the kitchen, you will say to yourself, this is interesting, this is grand, this is beautiful like a Chardin.

Maybe that's the lesson he learned from his own characters. Just like he would've said: a good book is greater than its author.
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8 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on October 11, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on March 19, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on September 29, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on September 5, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on March 22, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on February 12, 2021
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Top reviews from other countries

S Riaz
5.0 out of 5 stars How Proust Can Change Your Life
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 1, 2015
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12 people found this helpful
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Damaskcat
4.0 out of 5 stars How Proust Can Change Your Life
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 22, 2012
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5 people found this helpful
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anozama
5.0 out of 5 stars A first class Warm up Act
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 4, 2011
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4 people found this helpful
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AJCH
5.0 out of 5 stars Not to be missed.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 2, 2017
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Julie Dagonet
4.0 out of 5 stars a book that brings Proust - the man - to life
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 5, 2015
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2 people found this helpful
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